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MBJ Editorial

State of the State

Friends and foes alike found plenty to sink their teeth into during Gov. Haley Barbour’s State of the State address January 9th.

While we maintain a healthy skepticism for anything a politician says in a speech, there is no denying that the governor used this opportunity well and communicated a message of appreciation, inspiration and challenge. The devil, as always, remains in the details, and it is unclear at this point what will unfold over the next few months as legislators tackle Katrina, the state budget, education and taxation.

As critical as the South Mississippi rebuilding effort is to that region, as well as to the state as a whole, there are a number of other issues that demand attention. One of these is the global economy’s impact on the furniture industry in Northeast Mississippi.

The furniture industry’s growth and development in our state has been one of the great economic success stories of the past half-century, but as anyone in business knows, globalization has changed how the game is played. New forces are challenging furniture manufacturers in previously unimaginable ways, and in his address, it was great to hear the governor offer a number of possibilities with which the state can assist this vital industry.

Putting politics aside is not easy, but we urge legislators from every part of the state to do that when it comes to the key issues before them.

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